President Dalia Grybauskaitė has submitted to the Seimas law amendments which should improve child care, encourage placing children from care homes in foster families and accelerate adoption process.
© Vida Press

Grybauskaitė says it is no longer acceptable that thousands of Lithuanian children are being raised in care institutions. The president has no doubt that there are plenty of well-wishing families that can become real families and real homes for children. But these people, according to Grybauskaitė, need to be encouraged to take the dignified step.

The proposals provide for better funding of foster families. Currently foster families that care for a child receive a monthly payment of EUR 152 which has not been raised since 1999. Thus it is proposed to raise the amount twice to EUR 304. It is also proposed to raise income of a participant of a family, a mother or a father. Now they are only guaranteed a minimum monthly wage of EUR 300, but the amendments stipulate that the amount should be increased to at least EUR 431.

According to the president, adoption process has to be accelerated. Now parents have to wait for compulsory training for a long time, hence it is proposed to improve access to such training.

Currently there are around 10,000 orphans in Lithuania. Child care homes receive several times greater funding than foster families - amounting to EUR 45 million annually.

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